USA — The beautiful weather over the weekend brought people outdoors, but also caused a couple dozen acres to be scorched, theatening several homes.
On Sunday, three separate brush fires were started in Russell County. People had decided to burn limbs and other yard debris in the 60 plus degree sunshine.
It was dry and it was windy and it got away from them, Virginia Department of Forestry Senior Area Forester Andrew Brown said.
The fires were started in the Castlewood and Swords Creek communities. One of the fires was small and burned less than an acre.
The fire department knocked it out pretty fast, Brown said.
The other two fires burned between 10 and 15 acres each. One of them threatened two homes and the other fire threatened one residence.
Brown said the fire departments had started to battle both of the larger blazes when the Department of Forestry arrived with bulldozers. They were able to cut fire lines around each residence and keep the fires from damaging the houses until the fires were extinguished
No citations were issued for any of the fires.
Brown said people need to be very careful when burning right now. It is a dry time of year and people are burning brush. But a small spark can ignite dry leaves and other foliage.
Virginia has a 4 p.m. burn ban from Feb. 15 to April 30. People are not allowed to burn brush until after 4 p.m.
The humidity is lower, and there is less of a chance of burning, Brown said. 4 p.m. is the magic number.
Brown said people are still responsible for a fire even after 4 p.m. and can be cited for an unattended fire or not taking the proper precautions.
Even if you light a fire after 4 p.m., its still your responsibility, Brown said.